What is Kava?
Kava is a relaxing tea made from the root of a pepper plant Piper methysticum. This ceremonial tea has been safely consumed by the people of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Hawaii for 3,000 years. Kava is traditionally prepared by placing the ground root into a porous sack, submerging in water, and squeezing the juice into a large, wooden bowl, and is served in coconut half-shells.
Why Drink Kava?
In general, drinkers of kava attest to a feeling of relaxation, enhanced calm and improved mental focus. Drinking kava can also be used to reduce stress, anxiety, and muscle tension or to help overcome insomnia. Drinking kava can also help reduce ADHD symptoms. It calms the mind and promotes well-being.
What does Kava taste like?
A comment we hear often is that kava has a natural earthy flavor. Some new kava drinkers may choose to use a fruit juice chaser, but most kava drinkers enjoy it naturally.
What to expect when I drink Kava?
First, your lips will become numb. The numbness is normal and can last for a few minutes. After drinking a shell or two, feeling of heightened attention combined with relaxation begins to come on. Although it is soothing, it is unlike alcohol in that thoughts remain clear.
When is the best time to drink Kava?
Avoid drinking kava during or immediately after a large meal. Everyone’s routine is different, but one example of a good time to drink kava would be 1 to 2 hours after a light lunch. Also, consider the time of day as well. Kava is about feeling relaxed, less stressed and less anxious, so try to avoid drinking kava where you are likely to be too distracted or stressed to feel the effects, and seek out times where you can relax, wind down, and let the kava do it’s thing.
How long will it take to feel the effects of kava?
One thing to thing to keep in mind is that many (but not all) first time kava users will experience what is referred to as a reverse tolerance, meaning that the longer and more regularly you drink kava, the less you will need to drink at one time to feel the same effects. Some users may feel no noticeable effects, whatsoever, the first time they try Kava. Apart from the bitter (to some, unpleasant) taste of kava and perhaps a numbing of the tongue, throat and mouth (usually a good sign of a decent kava!) there may no psychoactive effects at all. The lengths of the reverse tolerance will vary from person to person. The kavalactones (chemical compounds that give kava its effects) will build up in your body over time, and you’ll find that as you settle in to a routine drinking kava you’ll feel even better and more relaxed than you did when you first started your journey with kava.
It can take up to two or three weeks of routine use to “break through” and feel the full effects of kava but once you do “You Will Know It”.
Can Kava have different effects on different people?
Yes. Some customers have have found our sedating kavas to have an energizing rather than sedative effect on them, and vice versa. That is one reason why we carry a variety of different types and strains of kava for you to find which works best with your body chemistry.
Why is traditional hand squeezed kava better for you?
"Instant" kavas are more bitter than traditional, hand-squeezed kava, and can sometimes be harsher on the stomach as well. This is due to differences in how the kava is processed to make it “instant”. Many people find instant kava to lack the strength of traditional, hand-squeezed kava. Studies have found that preparing kava the traditional, hand squeezed way is the best method for preserving the many health benefits of kava, including studies that show that traditional hand squeezed kava may help prevent cancer (click to view video). For the full experience, we’ve found that kava is best enjoyed when prepared and served the way it has been for centuries!
Can i drink Kava?
If you have any medical condition or are taking any medication we recommend consulting your physician before drinking kava. We do not recommend the use of kava in individuals who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have a history of abusing drugs or alcohol. Kava is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. Kava is not recommended for persons under the age of 18.
Is Kava safe?
It is safe and prudent to ask questions and do research before putting anything into your body, and we encourage everyone to do their own research and talk with their primary care physician about any concerns with kava. To be honest, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding the safety of kava. Though it was once banned in 2002 in the US due to a now debunked study on kava use and its effects on the liver in Germany, since then kava has been approved for use as a dietary supplement after another study was conducted in 2005. Again, please do your own research and consult your physician before you decide if kava is right for you, but keep in mind that kava has been safely consumed for more than 3000 years.
When I drink Kava, do I say “cheers”?
in Fiji, we say “Bula Vinaka!” which means “health and happiness”!
How we prepare our Kava:
Things you will need:
- kava strainer
- measuring cup
- For every 6g (approximately 1 heaping teaspoon) of kava use 1/2 cup of warm (not hot) water. For a stronger kava use 8g (approximately 1 ½ heaping teaspoon) of kava per ½ cup of warm water. Do not exceed over 3 tablespoons a day. Do not exceed over 3 months without taking a few days break.
- Fill the pitcher with water and kava.
- Let sit for 30 minutes before straining.
- Slowly pour kava and water into straining bag over bowl.
- Knead Kava for 10 minutes.
- Stir and serve.
Kava mixes well with coconut water or almond milk (with or without a sweetener such as agave); mixing kava like this can even enhance the effects.